10 Cleaning Tips To Get The House In Shape Quicker

Best Cleaning Tips Bathroom Caddy

My house is never spotless and I am not a clean freak, but I do like things to be reasonably clean and tidy. Here are 10 of my best tips I have to offer on cleaning the family home:

1. Daily cleaning regime

Gone are the days when I can clean the whole house at once, too many little people need my attention for that. I have certain cleaning activities that I do every day and they fit into my school term routine. For example when I come home from the walk to school on Mondays, I know I need to clean the toilets (my boys are so messy). Having a regime of tasks I need to do takes the thinking out of it and I just get to it.

2. Use a timer

Best Cleaning Tips Set A Timer
I have been using 15 minute blocks for a little while now in my cleaning routine. A task seems much more do-able if it is only short. It also helps with the kids if I tell them I am cleaning for 15 minutes, when the timer finishes I can come and play then. The kids will often occupy themselves for longer than that and I can sometimes even fit in another 15 minute session before they come looking for me again :) .

3. Go for the minimalist approach

The less there is around the house, the less there is to clean and dust! Finding places where items can be put away and leaving bench tops clear for me also makes things look tidier. This is a work in progress at our house and I am continually removing clutter – it makes such a difference.

4. Have a bathroom caddy

Best Cleaning Tips Bathroom Caddy
This is also a recent inclusion to my cleaning routine. Now that I have a bathroom caddy of cleaning products in the actual bathroom, it means that when it is bath time, I can supervise the kids and get some cleaning done – clean the toilet, wipe down the benches and mirrors etc. I still have a child safe lock on my bathroom cupboard as the toddler still enjoys emptying the contents of any cupboard he can open, so they caddy is away from little hands.

5. Empty the vacuum

Making sure our cylconic vacuum is empty before I start means the vacuum works more effectively. It is so much easier if I can just keep going with the vacuuming once I have started.

6. Steam clean the microwave

We only really use our microwave for reheating, but even so it still manages to get pretty dirty at times with spillages (not always wiped down by people who will remain nameless!).

The easiest way to clean the microwave is to have a couple of cups of water with a slice of lemon in a microwave safe bowl. Heat the water for a couple of minutes until it is almost boiling, then stop the microwave. Keep the door closed and allow the steam to do its trick with the mess in the microwave. Leave it for about 15 – 20 minutes then wipe down.

7. Use newspaper to clean windows

Best Cleaning Tips Newspaper for windows
Scrunched old newspaper works a treat on windows. They don’t leave lint and it is a great way to reuse an existing material. I use a home made cleaning solution of equal parts vinegar and soda water. (Never use tap water as it makes things streaky, distilled water is fine.)

8. Use microfibre cloths

Microfibre cloths are such super cleaning tools. They come in a varitey of price tags, but you can get good quality cloths now for reasonable prices. They work so well as the can remove lots of dust without releasing it into the air and mean you don’t have to use harmful toxic chemicals.

9. Use the dishwasher for things other than dishes

There are so many other household items that you can put in the dishwasher to clean like:

  • Fridge shelves
  • Kids plastic toys
  • Fan grills / vent covers
  • Sponges

I have heard you can even put potatoes in the dishwasher to clean them and a friend has also used the dishwasher to defrost a meal!

10. Emergency Wipes

I always have some bathroom and kitchen wipes stashed away for those days when I need to clean in a hurry!

I am sure you would have fab cleaning tips of your own and would be grateful if you could help me add to this list – anything to make cleaning easier!


  1. says

    I like to finish at least one task at a time (you know…I’ll play with you once I’ve done the dishes/changed the sheets etc). But the timer idea is even better – gives them something to watch and know exactly when you’ll be done, but also would make you speed through the task knowing it’s not going to take you very long :-)
    PS I still love my ginormous blue ikea bags for tidying everything away out of sight!!

  2. Julie says

    I have a dustpan and brush in both bathrooms and small bin, so I am not lugging the broom up and down every day. My best tip is to get a carpet sweeper! They are great for small pickups and you can use it every day, rather than get out the bulky old vacuum.

  3. says

    Tip 6 also works really well with a cup of water and a tablespoon of bicarb mixed in if you don’t have fresh lemons :)

    I’ve been working hard to declutter this month by focusing on one drawer or cupboard each day (or even a whole room if the kids are playing well together!) – less is definitely more!

  4. says

    ohmygosh….i love you! what an awesome post. Thank you for the tips. My two favorites tips…cleaning glass with newspaper and the steam cleaning the microwave. I heard the one about steam cleaning the microwave years ago but forgotten about it. I spent a total of 20 minutes yesterday cleaning the microwave twice after two different spills.

  5. Angela says

    Great tips. Not sure about defrosting the meal, but unless we share we don’t learn! A quick clean up tip I recently read on another blog is; hide your dirty dishes or kitchen clutter in the oven if you need a quick fix. Just remember to get back to it later, or you will get a surprise next time you bake..LOL.

  6. says

    Love, love, love this post. My house always seems to be a mess, and it drives me CRAZY. I thought my house would be spotless as a SAHM. Ha, ha, ha.
    All we ever seem to do is play and make more mess. I can never say no to my daughter when she asks me to play or when she says ‘Mum, sit’ so I can ‘watch’ her play. I just love the timer idea. At 18 months she still may not get it though.

  7. says

    Great post! I do find breaking things up into smaller chunks (ie eating an elephant in bites!) much easier. I also get overwhelmed at the prospect of spending a whole 2 or 3 hours cleaning!!

    Decluttering is something that is constant in my house, I wish there was a solution!

    I involved my 4 year old in cleaning the vanity today – she helped empty everything out, and wipe it out. Then sorting it into piles – ie never use, use every day, and use sometimes. The never use pile she could put in the bin, and then she helped me arrange it all back in the cabinet. The boys actually then played nicely together for 20 minutes while we did it! Took care of her “OCD” (tic!) and need for “helping”.

    PS How do you store recipes? I find that the hardest – I collect odd sheets of recipes everywhere!!!

    • Alex says

      Katy, regarding your recipes storage question. I have filed mine in a four ring binder. I have it separated into sections – ie pasta, cakes, meat dishes, biscuits, kids cooking, etc and then I paste the recipe onto a piece of A4 white paper and put it in a plastic pocket. I had loads of receipes to start with. It took me a couple of hours to sort them into different types of foods, cut them out, paste them and put them in the pockets, but it is awesome – so easy to find the ones I love and easy to add more to it. better than cards or a book. Hope this helps.

    • Helen says

      For recipes I use a small photo album with pockets and just slide the bits of paper in. I also use online recipes a lot as it cuts the clutter. Taste.com.au is pretty good

  8. says

    I clean in fifteen minute blocks too. It seems to be the perfect amount of time, as you said fifteen minutes isn’t too long to put you off, but it’s also long enough to make a big difference.

    I’ve been doing a big deep clean/declutter in the past week too and I’ve found the best way to do it has been to do it slowly. I know I could get it all done in one day but I’d be totally pooped and it wouldn’t be as good of a job. This way I can be sure to get as much as possible put/thrown away and still have energy to do all the things the girls need and want me to do.

  9. says

    Brilliant – I’m bookmarking this!
    I’m in the process of cleaning all the windows [and there are a lot of them in a double-story Queenslander with french doors from every room to the verandahs] and adding the soda water to the vinegar is a stroke of genius!

    Biggest of hugs,

    Felicity x

  10. says

    Oh yes, all tried & tested. As i work from home, i don’t clean when my children are at school, but it’s amazing how many bursts of toilet cleaning you can get done between lunch box emptying & starting dinner. I use Enjo cloths in the bathroom so when my little ones were little, they’d clean for me, no chemicals to worry about. Now they are old enough to help clean, especially the finger marks on the walls down the hall!! 4 children with abrasive cloths can do that very quickly. Love Posie

  11. Helen says

    For the declutter job I take 3 plastic tubs with me. One for rubbish, one for recycling and the last for things that belong elsewhere in the house. I find that it saves time going back and forth to different rooms and to the bins.

  12. says

    I’ve just discovered… vinegar! A teaspoon in the washing instead of fabric softener (doesn’t make the washing smell, but does leave it soft and nice), and a cup in hot water to wash the floors – no streaks!

  13. says

    Love the timer idea.
    Got any thoughts on finding time to wash those floors! It’s probably the only thing that lacks (that and the washing!)

  14. says

    The microwave tip is really useful I’ve never thought that something like this could be done. I always extra carefull around the microwave and I rarely allow anything to stay there for more than a couple of minutes because there is always that popping sound if I leave something for more then 2 minutes